Is illegal logging a huge problem in Romania? Why, yes it really is, with experts estimating that more than half of all logging in Romania is illegal.
So you’d think I’d be quite supportive of this measure:
Romania has toughened its legislation in order to protect its natural resources by defining illegal logging – but also any action “which endangers the country’s water, forests and land” as a threat to national security.
The law, which was adopted late last year by parliament, was signed into force on Monday by President Klaus Iohannis.
I’ve spent a lot of time in rural parts of Cluj county (judet), and the illegal logging (and devastation it causes) is everywhere. It’s immoral, despicable, and ugly. Indeed, old logging trails nearly killed Les Stroud when he was in “Transylvania” (actually Wallachia) recently.
But making cutting down a tree a “threat to national security”? On one hand, yes, I do agree that destroying the natural environment threatens the integrity of a country in the physical sense. National security threats, to me, tend to be more along the lines of individuals and actions that threaten the integrity of a country’s government.
As always, what really matters is not what the law says in Romania, but what the government will actually do about it. Perhaps better staffing the Forestry Agency, conducting more inspections on logging operations (especially at the border), and prosecuting the bad guys (like Austrian logging firms caught red-handed on film) would do more than catching a few offenders and prosecuting them as terrorists.
When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.